Ko-Kwel Wellness Center

Client: Coquille Indian Tribe

Location: Kilkich Reservation

Square Footage: 22,000

S+B James Construction is the design-build general contractor for the new Ko-Kwel
Wellness Center. Construction began in April, and the facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. The new Center will be a 22,060-square-foot building, nearly three times the size of the tribe’s current Community Health Center. When it opens, the center will offer primary care, dental care, behavioral health, a pharmacy and other services. The tribe intentionally named it a “wellness center” to reflect a focus on serving each patient’s overall needs.

The center is being built atop a former cranberry bog on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation near Charleston. Its design will reflect the tribe’s indigenous heritage: Its exterior will evoke a tribal plankhouse, with a main entrance simulating a traditional round door. The interior corridors will trace the shape of a leister forked fishing spear, a common symbol of the Coquille Tribe. The space between the fork’s tines will form an interior courtyard where patients can relax in a secluded serene environment.

The word “Ko-Kwel” in the center’s name highlights the historical pronunciation of the tribe’s own name. Although the city and river bearing the Coquille name are commonly pronounced “ko-keel,” the tribe has revived the older pronunciation in recent decades.

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